Drought-Stricken Commodities: Today’s conditions vs. 2020

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says this is still a concern, but much better conditions are being seen than in 2020.

Dry conditions are still an issue for a lot of farm counties across the United States, but the latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows they might not be as bad as you think.

hay areas in drought.png

Above, is a look at the hay production areas in drought from the most recent report (June 2023). The light green area shows a minor hay area and the dark represents a major. hay area. The red crossed line shows that 20 percent of the hay acreage is currently experiencing dry conditions. The majority of that area is The Plains region.

cattle areas in drought.png

Above, is what the monitor currently shows for cattle areas in drought, as of June 2023. Approximately 36 percent of the U.S. cattle inventory is in dry conditions, with conditions concentrated in the High and Southern Plains.

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says this is still a concern, but much better conditions are being seen than in 2020.

“Those numbers may sound a little high, but they’re a far cry from what we’ve been experiencing the last three years since this long-term drought settled in back in the summer of 2020,” Rippey said. “We finally clawed our way out of that and [in a] much better situation now for the Central and Western U.S. heading into 2023.”

Conditions are also looking better for the winter wheat crop, but it still is not ideal.

"[We are] still seeing 46% of the U.S. winter wheat production area and drought, although that has come down from last fall during planting, and we peaked at 75% in drought,” Rippey said. “It still represents a significant portion of the crop. That is of course reflected in the poor crop conditions

Spring wheat is doing much better with just six percent of production areas experiencing drought.

Related Stories
The JBS Australia study documented the carbon footprints of 176 cattle farms that claimed to be implementing regenerative agriculture practices.

LATEST STORIES BY THIS AUTHOR:

Cattle producers recently promoted U.S. beef on a trip to Japan and Korea with the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
After years of drought, farmers across U.S. farm country are getting so much rainfall that it’s dampening their spring planting progress later into the season.
According to USDA experts, Brazil and Argentina’s large drop in corn production has more to do with the economics of corn markets than impacts from weather.
According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, no part of Iowa is experiencing extreme levels of drought for the first time in nearly two years.
Agriculture Shows
From soil to harvest. Top Crop is an all-new series about four of the best farmers in the world—Dan Luepkes, of Oregan, Illinois; Cory Atley, of Cedarville, Ohio; Shelby Fite, of Jackson Center, Ohio; Russell Hedrick, of Hickory, North Carolina—reveals what it takes for them to make a profitable crop. It all starts with good soil, patience, and a strong planter setup.
Champions of Rural America is a half-hour dive into the legislative priorities for Rural America. Join us as we interview members of the Congressional Western Caucus to learn about efforts in Washington to preserve agriculture and tackles the most important topics in the ag industry on Champions of Rural America!
Farm Traveler is for people who want to connect with their food and those who grow it. Thanks to direct-to-consumer businesses, agritourism, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to learn how our food is made and support local farmers. Here on the Farm Traveler, we want to connect you with businesses offering direct-to-consumer products you can try at home, agritourism sites you can visit with your family, and exciting new technologies that are changing how your food is being grown.
Featuring members of Congress, federal and state officials, ag and food leaders, farmers, and roundtable panelists for debates and discussions.
Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.